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WCSU ‘Scholars in Action’ panel Oct. 24 to explore interactive teaching

Provost to moderate discussion featuring five WCSU faculty members

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University will present five WCSU faculty members in a discussion of their recent scholarly work at the forum, “Scholars in Action: The Art and Science of Interactive Pedagogy,” at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The panel discussion and a reception following the event will be in Room 127 of White Hall. Admission will be free and the public is invited. Reservations to attend are requested; RSVP confirmations may be sent to the Office of the Provost at cunninghamj@wcsu.edu.

The panelists are Paul Echeverria, assistant professor of Communication and Media Arts and founding director of the Digital and Interactive Media Arts (DIMA) program; Dr. Bernard Gee, assistant professor of Psychology; Dr. Sean Murthy, assistant professor of Computer Science; Dr. Monica Sousa, associate professor of Nursing; and Dr. Linda Warren, associate professor of Nursing. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander will moderate the panel.

Following are the topics that the panelists will discuss in their presentations:

  • Paul Echeverria will present “Generative Pedagogy: Introducing Students to the Emerging Digital Landscape.” His talk will explore the connection between technology and the decentralization of traditional academia, as well as various approaches that have contributed the development of the DIMA program. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Media Arts from the University of Colorado, he also is a filmmaker and digital artist whose work explores the correlation between the ubiquitous nature of technology and artistic expression. His works have screened at the Experiments in Cinema festival and the Made in NY Media Center, and he was a presenter at the 2017 University Film and Video Association 2017 national conference.
  • Dr. Bernard Gee will discuss “Writing Exercises for Developing Scientific Literacy,” based on his contributed chapter in the book, “Integrating Writing into the College Classroom,” published by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. His talk will summarize highlights from the chapter, which presented a set of focused exercises designed to improve scientific writing proficiency through incremental assignments aimed to develop necessary skills for scholarly papers such as literature reviews, critiques and research articles. Recipient of a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester, he teaches the introductory psychology class as well as psychology courses studying the links between biology and human behavior. His Vision and Cognition Laboratory at WCSU focuses on investigation of the mental processes related to spatial reasoning, and current research studies address various aspects of visual experience such as perception, memory and eye movements.
  • Dr. Sean Murthy will explain the teaching strategies of the Data Science and Systems Lab in his presentation, “DASSL, a Hands-on Co-curricular Lab to Prepare the Software Engineers Employers Want.” As founder and director of DASSL at WCSU, Murthy will discuss how students work with faculty members in the lab to learn through collaborative work the practical aspects of building high-quality software, gaining knowledge of modern engineering tools and concepts and an appreciation for the need to follow specific steps in reaching their project goal. Students also build an online portfolio from their work at DASSL that helps to set them apart in seeking future professional employment. Recipient of a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Portland State University, Murthy has designed and developed applications for major corporations, and previously served as executive director and principal researcher at the Else Institute and as a research group director at Wipro Technologies. His research interests include data analytics and software, and data engineering for cloud-based systems.
  • Dr. Monica Sousa and Dr. Linda Warren will present on the topics that they explored as co-authors of “Acute Management of Respiratory Distress in the Adult Patient,” a book chapter published in the third edition of “Simulation Scenarios for Nursing Educators: Making It Real.” They will discuss how to use simulation in a curriculum to provide students with real-life clinical situations that improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as affording a safe and controlled environment to practice nursing tasks. Recipient of a Ph.D. in Nursing Education from WCSU, Sousa has taught at the university for nine years and holds certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health. She facilitates maintenance of the WCSU nursing simulation and skills labs, and organizes educational sessions for faculty to learn how to utilize simulation in their courses. Recipient of a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford, Warren is the coordinator of the master’s program in the Nursing Department and uses simulation in her courses to support student learning while introducing complex nursing concepts. With more than 45 years of professional experience, she holds certifications in Critical Care and Trauma Nursing and is an instructor for the American Heart Association. She also is the author of the scholarly article, “And I Want to Teach?”

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

 

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